The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors is pleased to present the results of the 2012 Public Practice Examination (PPE) ‒ the final assessment of professional competence for candidates wishing to register as a Registered Auditor (RA) or Chartered Accountant (CA)(SA). The PPE was written on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 and of the 2288 candidates who wrote, 1746 passed resulting in a pass rate of 76% (74% in 2011). Candidates who attempted the PPE for the first time achieved a pass rate of 82% (80% in 2011).

Honours were awarded to seven candidates who achieved a pass mark of 75% or above.  
The following candidates achieved the top ten places: 
1 (Joint)
Nicole Wainer
1 (Joint)
Jacobus Jordaan
Tamar Schamroth
4 (Joint)
Caeleigh Britton
4 (Joint)
Ludre Swift
4 (Joint)
Jessica Jones
Francisca Marx
Dewald Terblanche
Astrid De Castro
Reinhard Rudd
Transformation of the profession is a priority for the IRBA. It is, therefore, encouraging that the number of Black African candidates who enter the PPE has increased steadily from 481 in 2008 to 570 in 2012.  
The number of candidates that passed has also increased from 204 in 2008 to 331 in 2012.
Of the 766 Black candidates (African, Coloured and Indian) that entered the 2012 PPE for the first time, 566 passed, resulting in an overall pass rate of 74%.
The IRBA is particularly pleased to announce the results of the 2012 IRBA Support Programme. The IRBA has presented a support programme for Black repeat candidates on an annual basis for the past eleven years. In 2012, Fasset (the Seta for finance, accounting, management consulting and other financial services) provided the IRBA with funding for the Support Programme. Once again, the candidates who attended the Support Programme achieved better results on each question than repeat candidates who did not attend the IRBA's programme. Of the 40 candidates who successfully completed the programme 24 passed, representing a pass rate of 60%. Of the 275 Black repeat candidates, who did not attend the IRBA Support Programme, 140 passed, representing a pass rate of 51%.
The examination objective
The objective of the examination is to assess the professional competence of candidates at entry point to the auditing profession. The IRBA has, over the years, carefully developed the PPE, in order to ensure that it is appropriate for this purpose and that it reflects the multi-disciplinary public practice environment in which RAs are required to operate.
The statutory auditor performs a very responsible function and the IRBA has a duty to ensure that only those who have demonstrated an appropriate degree of professional competence are registered as auditors. The examination, which aims to assess professional competence, takes the form of two, 2 and a half hour written assessments consisting of two scenarios reflecting the public practice environment. Candidates must demonstrate an ability to solve multi-disciplinary practical problems in an integrated manner and to do so must analyse and interpret information and provide viable solutions to address specific client needs. The ability to demonstrate logical thought and exercise professional judgement is an integral part of the examination.
Admission requirements
Admission requirements to the PPE are challenging, requiring completion of recognised academic and education programmes. In addition, entrants must also have passed SAICA's Initial Test of Competence (ITC). Completion of the academic component under a full-time study programme ordinarily takes at least four years. Given the practical focus of the assessment, candidates are required to have served at least 18 months of a registered training contract in the service of a Registered Auditor before being admitted to write the PPE.
The minimum total duration of a training contract is three years, which usually follows the four-year period of full-time study. The period of qualification for most students is therefore at least seven years. The IRBA believes that this is in keeping with its duty to ensure that standards at entry point are maintained and that only those who are able to meet prescribed competency standards are registered as auditors. The qualification period is similar to that of other highly regarded professions and internationally recognised accounting bodies.
In conclusion
The IRBA wishes to acknowledge the significant contribution made by the various education institutions, training offices and SAICA towards the success of the 2012 PPE.  
The IRBA's examination continues to be afforded both local and international recognition and we wish to congratulate our successful candidates on their outstanding achievement.
Laine Katzin
Director: Education, Training and Professional Development

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